Tuesday, September 27, 2011

James Miller Center: President Jimmy Carter- 1979 State of the Union

Source:James Miller Center- President James E. Carter (Democrat, Georgia) delivering the 1979 State of the Union address, in front of a joint session of Congress. 

"President Jimmy Carter - 1979 State of the Union. This is an excerpt. You can view the full speech here:James Miller Center January 23, 1979." 

Jim Carter had most of the abilities that one would need to be a great successful President. He was a very good man with a great conscience, he had great intelligence, one of the most intelligent President's that America has ever had, with the great ability examine issues and problems and know what they are and what they mean. But what he lacked was vision in where he wanted to take America and how to solve the problems that he faced. 

President Carter faced a lot of problems in his fours years as President, most of them not his fault and that he inherited. But was his fault was not just that he wasn't able to solve them, which is why he lost in a landslide election in 1980 to Ronald Reagan. I believe losing forty nine States and failing to get the 45% of the Popular Vote. Losing one of the largest landslides that and incumbent president ever lost if not the largest or in some cases had the wrong prescriptions. But that he didn't seem to have much of an idea in how to solve these problems. 

The economy was coming out of recession in 1976 when he was elected, but was still slow with high unemployment and I believe most people who become President who see that their country is at peace, would declare that the weak economy was the biggest problem the country faced and would make that their number one priority.

To a certain extent President Carter did focus on the economy by focusing on energy policy right away, to move America towards energy independence. As well as normalizing relations with the People's Republic of China. But he had a slow economy and one of his first priorities was deficit reduction. Even though the budget deficit wasn't that high compared with GDP, it never was in the Carter Administration. They had a very tight fiscal policy and deficit reduction was a big part of the Carter economic policy. And partially as a result the economy tanked in 1978 with high inflation and interest rates. As well as a recession in 1980, which happened on his watch. 

What the Carter Administration should've been doing was pumping money into the economy. A national energy policy that promotes our natural resources, that would've helped with the high gas prices, infrastructure investment that would put a lot of people back to work, expanding foreign trade, and tax cuts. (We still had a 70% tax rate in the Carter Administration) One good thing that President Carter did was deregulate the airline industry so we could have more airlines as well as bailing out Chrysler Motors, which saved a lot of auto jobs, jobs we couldn't afford to lose.

President Carter was great at examining the issues that he faced, a lot of them he inherited like the Panama Canal Treaty, the bad economy and others. And some of them he did a good jobs in dealing with them: China, Panama, the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, and some issues he was able to advance like energy policy and deficit reduction. 

I don't consider President Carter to a successful President, but not a failure either. I would probably give him a C+, because he failed to be able to deal with some of the issues he faced. But was able to move America forward in others like in energy policy and foreign policy.

Liberal Democrat

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